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Re: Relative Scarcity / Relative Value / Etc.

Having watched as an Autavia GMT went for over $2300 on ebay last night, I am convinced that maintaining any sort of pricing information or database will be virtually impossible. (I had swapped e-mails with the seller, and given him an estimate with $1200 at the top of the range.) When two guys want to win an auction, regardless of cost, it is difficult to reach conclusions about how this affects "market values".

The only thing we can really do, Jeff (and other viewers), is report what we see. Of course, any item that two or more people get into a shootout over will go high. That's something that will have to be mentioned, perhaps disclaimed in the dialog describing how the table's were put together.

My suggestion is that we keep this relatively simple, as follows:

we would add two columns to the reference tables, one for relative scarcity and one for relative price; we can do this slowly, over time, based on input from this Discussion Forum, if people are so inclined.

the relative scarcity would be an estimate of how many we see on the market (ebay and dealers), per year. we can call it Offered Per Year, Available Per Year, etc.

This is on eBay, web dealers and sales corners I assume?

the relative value will be some approximate multiple of an established standard (for example, a three register Carrera, white-on-white, Valjoux 72 might be the standard (set at 1.0), so the Monaco, white-on-blue, Cal 12 might be something like 2.0 to 3.0).

Personally I don't have the aversion to naming prices that auctions closed at in these tables that some people have. I don't see the need to exchange something that is discrete, accurate and factual into something that is abstract, vague and an interpetation... I just don't see the value of going that way.

all this would be very approximate, with clear disclosure that it represents only the opinion of one collector (or one small group of collectors) and that the values vary considerably based on condition, extras (box and papers), the market, etc.

Well, I think if we watch the closing high bids on eBay we just state this was the amount that individual deemed it was worth to them. That the values are often effected by condition, extras, location, etc. is fine.

Will this be useful?? Perhaps it will -- for example, to the guy who has his father's Autavia from 1962 and asks whether they are rare or common.

I think so, but it'll require frequent updating that is for sure.

Will it be fun discussion for our readers?? I'm not sure. Let's give it a go and see what we think.

I think it might be fun, we can try it for a while and see how it'll go.

Is there a downside? Perhaps some confusion, and perhaps some lost opportunities (for buyers) when someone wants to sell a watch that they think is worth very little, then they see that it is a scarce item. Maybe be put a watermark all over the presentation, reminding people "Do Not Confuse Scarcity With Value!!".

It may be more trouble to do than it's worth... It'll likely need frequent updates. But it might be less trouble than having to answer the same questions all of the time too! I'm game either way...

Jeff, sorry I missed your call this evening... I went out to eat tonight dispite the Nordic temperatures here (-8F to -10F here tonight, high of 8F tomorrow)...

-- Chuck


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